Exit 175 off Interstate 20 is located in McDuffie County, Ga. Just recently, the county decided to rezone the residential land just north of the exit into an industrial park. Many concerned local residents have strongly expressed their opposition towards bad industry entrance. The county is compromising with residents and is extremely cautious of allowing bad industry entry. I believe selective industry choices and smart compromising are the most efficient prospering community actions.
New, safe industries are extremely beneficial to McDuffie County. By drawing in more companies, new jobs are created that in turn lead to more economic activity. The new wages earned are spent buying local goods and thus, cause the community to prosper.
Furthermore, the local property and industry taxes allow the county to provide better public services. More tax money is much needed to provide such necessities as new text books, school facilities, and an east Thomson bypass.
Another benefit to local residents is the utility expansion in the area. The industrial park called for better drainage systems and a reliable water source. Without the industrial expansion, local residents would not have received city water access.
Pollution is the residents' main concern. Local homeowners are scared of bad industry entry. Bad industry would bring in noise, water, and/or air pollution. The county is aware of pollution possibilities and therefore, will not allow it. Local government intends to extensively research any interested companies. This research includes making sure no harmful chemicals or other supplies will be used. The county also takes into consideration the noise pollution, whether or not heavy truck traffic will affect residents. Moreover, they want to consider industry's building size. Although the Advanced Auto Distribution Center already located in the park is visible for miles from Stagecoach Road and has light traffic that has caused noise pollution, it is extremely clean and free of air, water, and ground pollution. I believe that the Advanced Auto Distribution Center has effectively supplied jobs and commenced new economic activity.
Conversely, I believe the city should consider the size of possible new industries because the Advanced Auto Center ruins the beautiful landscape sight seen from west Stagecoach Road. A consideration is a height limit or requiring heavy, tall landscape in order to obscure the buildings.
In order to attract new potential economic activity, I strongly believe that McDuffie County needs to speed up the industrial park's completion projects.
According to Forward McDuffie Executive Director Don Powers' McDuffie Mirror interview, "the county is in the process of getting landowners to sign easements in order to construct the sewer line and run the cable across people's property," Local residents' compliance is required for economic prosperousness. In fact, one interested company decided not to locate in Thomson due to county/resident controversy. Residents should do their part in trying to help the community so our county can continue to compete with the rest of Georgia.
In conclusion, I believe the industrial park should help, more than hurt, the community. Furthermore, selective industry choices and smart compromising are the most efficient prospering community actions. Again, in order to please local residents, a height limit or requiring heavy, tall landscape in order to obscure the buildings would be effective. Finally, I think residents should comply with the county in order to attract more economic activity and better the community.
David Williams, a sophomore at the University of Georgia and a native of Thomson, recently penned this column for an English class. His assignment was to choose a personal local issue and either praise or condemn the issue.